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Volleyball playoff showdown: Plano vs. Plano West
October 24, 2012By David McNabb of VYPE MAGAZINE - DFW
PLANO – Cross-town rivals Plano and Plano West meet in a state volleyball playoff seeding match at 5:30 p.m. Friday at sister-school Plano East. The seeding was forced by Plano and West finishing tied for second in District 10-5A.
The winner gets a No. 2 seeding while the loser takes the No. 3 seed. Seeding is critical in the Region II playoff bracket because it avoids a quick potential rematch with highly-regarded McKinney Boyd.
Plano and West split their district meetings. Plano ended its district season with a win on Senior Night for a final home volleyball match. Plano defeated Allen 25-23, 25-17 and 25-14.
Plano (28-11) jumped out to quick leads in each set against Allen, which also qualified for the fourth district playoff spot with a Plano East loss to Plano West. Allen (21-19) will play Richardson Pearce in the first round next week.
Plano got strong serving and net play from 6-1 junior Kylie Long but it was the depth across the front with multiple kills from seniors Madison Morrell (signed with Nevada), Ally Birkett and Samantha Seal. Seniors Audrey Landry (signed as a Libero for Northern Colorado) and Stephanie Burson helped control the back line and consistently set up assists.
“This has been a great senior group,” Coach Teri Minnis said. “Their personalities, their leadership and their work has been there. I couldn’t ask for more from a senior class.”
Plano took early leads in each set but it was only the first set in which Allen was able to work its way back into a 23-23 tie. Fittingly, it was Long who had a kill and winning serve for the final two points.
“She has made great strides since the beginning of the year,”Minnis said. “She had to move from the middle to the leftside and she’s done a great job working and improving on that transition. She is a different player from the start of the year.’
Allen is back in the playoffs after a 16-year consecutive streak was ended under 20-year coach Kelley Gregoriew. With a youth rotation including three freshmen, Allen couldn’t match Plano’s senior consistency in the final two matches. Plano jumped out to a 21-9 lead in the second match and led 17-6 in the third match before closing out.
“We played well in the first and so I thought I’d keep it the same,” Gregoriew said. “But in the second and third set we just had some breakdowns. We’ve been playing well to end the season but we just didn’t get the ball movement and passing we had in the first game.”